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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Diving Deep into Gabrielino’s Swimming Eagles experience at CIF Qualifiers

Diving+Deep+into+Gabrielino%E2%80%99s+Swimming+Eagles+experience+at+CIF+Qualifiers
Photo Credits: Ethan Yun

   Kianna Thai is entering the CIF qualifiers for the third time, bringing with her the high spirits and energy of her dedicated teammates. Thai is aiming for success in individual events, such as the 100 breaststroke, where she has secured a first-place finish, and team events, like the 200 medley relay. Her experience at CIF is extensive; she thrives on the challenge of competing against other teams and schools.

   One of Thai’s significant accomplishments is her ability to push herself to improve her times, a feat closely tied to the supportive environment and high performance she exhibits. 

   Reflecting on her mindset, Thai shares, “It depends on your mindset as well. You have to think you will do good because if you don’t, you probably won’t.”

   For Thai, the biggest obstacle lies within herself. Maintaining a positive mindset is crucial for enhancing performance, and any struggle in this area can interfere with her achievements. 

   Her passion for swimming began at a young age but became especially important during high school. The excitement she feels when swimming with her teammates exceeds that of her solo training sessions.

   Thai emphasizes the significance of her teammates, saying, “Your teammates are always pushing you to do better.” 

   She cherishes the time spent with her team each season, forming long-lasting friendships and memories through the shared experiences of meets and competitions.

   In addition to Thai’s achievements, Ethan Yun has shown remarkable dedication, having completed all four years with the Gabrielino Eagles Swim Team. His commitment and hard work are the cornerstone of the team’s spirit and success.

   Moving down a division brought great hope to the team, and at CIFs, it resulted in a significant achievement.

Senior Swimmers line up at Smith Parks notorious pool, saying goodbye to Gabrielino’s swim team for the last time. (Photo Credits: Ethan Yun)

   “A lot of us have made it, which is a team experience,” Yun expressed.

   During the season, Yun has created remarkable memories with his teammates. For him, the camaraderie and support of his team overshadow the rigors of training and performance. Swimming fast and having fun is what counts the most to Yun.

   A funny memory Yun recalls is from last year’s Division Two CIF.

   “There was this really fast guy, committed to Stanford. Right after I swam, I went right next to him. All my friends joined, and we just took a picture with him,” Yun said, laughing.

   Following Yun’s anecdote, Nathan Weng shared an experience from Mount SAC. 

   “Sophomore year, we were trying to find bathrooms at Mount SAC, and I thought it would be a good idea to slide down the railings. I tried it, let go, and got a concussion,” Weng recounted.

   Thai, Yun, and Nathan Weng have competed at CIF multiple times and emphasize their lasting memories there. Passion for the sport comes from the community, and seeing friends helps these three swimmers find their way back to swimming.

Congratulations Kianna Thai (11th) on 100 Breaststroke at CIF Qualifiers 2024.

Congratulations Nathan Weng (12th) on 200 Free at CIF Qualifiers 2024.

Congratulations Ethan Yun (12th) on 100 Breaststroke at CIF Qualifiers 2024.

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About the Contributor
Gabrielle Rodriguez
Gabrielle Rodriguez, Staff Writer
Gabrielle Rodriguez is a Staff Writer for the school newspaper, currently in her first year with the team. Outside of her journalistic duties, Gabrielle is passionate about volunteering for the youth and projects in relation to the arts. Her decision to join the newspaper stemmed from her love for English and the opportunity to be in a class focused on writing.
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